Ricochet News

Preparations towards first SOPA of 6th Eastern Cape provincial government

Jun 14, 2019
Preparations towards first SOPA of 6th Eastern Cape provincial government

Bhisho - Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Presiding Officers have decided that the official opening of the Legislature (SOPA) will no longer be held outside the chamber during the 6th legislature.

This decision is applicable in this year’s State of the Province Address and for the whole five year term of Legislature.   The State of the Province Address will be held on the 28th of June 2019.

Legislature, Speaker, Ms Sauls-August said the budget allocation for the sitting has been reduced from around five million rands to seven hundred thousand rands and eight hundred rands. This translates to an estimated savings of an annual R2,5 million resulting in total savings of R12,5 million rands over the whole term of the five year period.

“The sitting of the house outside the chamber has been a costly exercise for the legislature and it had to be reviewed within the national spirit of cost cutting measures and reconnecting the legislature with the people through intensifying public participation programmes and oversight work,” said Speaker, Helen Sauls-August.

In the past, between R3.5m- R5 million was budgeted for in the preparation of SOPA with the major cost drivers being the following:

  • Tent village – R1.4m
  • Catering- R1.2 m
  • Ablution facilities R210.000
  • Mobile fridges –R40 000
  • Standby generator – R20 000
  • Screens- R86 000
  • Invitation cards –R20 000

All these items will no longer be needed because the session will be held at the chamber.

“The implication of this decision is that the number of guests attending the official opening is reduced from 1200 guests to 650 guests; catering, is reduced from a three course meal into a finger lunch for everyone. The invitations for guests which was previously outsourced has been done internally. There will be a drastic reduction on the number of guests invited to attend the session,” Speaker Helen Sauls-August added.

The chamber has shown its capacity to host big audiences at the swearing in ceremony and will be able to host the Premier in delivering the State of the Province Address on the 28th of June 2019. The red carpet experience will still be there.

The official opening is an annual event where the Speaker invites the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane to deliver a State of the Province Address. It is from the official opening of the house and subsequent tabling of departmental policy and budget votes that the Legislature conducts vigorous oversight work on the Executive.

Presiding officers comprise of the Speaker, Hon. Helen Sauls-August, Deputy Speaker, hon. Qhoboshiyane, Chair of Chairs, Hon. Nkopane and Deputy Chair of Chairs, Hon. Duba.

The official opening of the Legislature has been identified as a starting point to implement costs cutting measures. Going forward we will identify other areas where costs cutting measures will be effected without affecting the work of the Legislature.

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.

For great savings on life’s little pleasures visit Bargain Buys!  Know somebody who is getting married, Wedding and Function can assist.  Have kids, then you need to visit Kids Connection. Enjoy food and travel, then visit Home Food and Travel. Need assistance with an online presence, visit Agency One.